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The bond between soldiers is something civilians can have a hard time grasping. You rely on each other, to have the other's back, especially when things are at their worst. The two men you're about to meet share that bond, and it's as strong now as it ever was.
Two friends and former Green Berets, Tim Reynolds and Kevin Rasband, have always been there for each other.
"Kevin and I know each other from way back in the 80s — early 80s," says Tim. "We actually went through special forces, Green Beret training together. Spent many a day and night all over the world doing different crazy fun, awesome things. We call it the 'Peter Pan life,' never grow up."
This past year, Tim was diagnosed with Goodpasture's syndrome, a rare disorder in which your body mistakenly makes antibodies to attack the lungs and kidneys. In Tim's case, it was destroying his kidneys, putting him on dialysis and requiring him to be put on the kidney waiting list. What surprised him was the response from his circle of friends.
Watch: A bond beyond the brotherhood
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (2:13) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.
"Quite a few donors, so it was crazy. I just didn't know I had that good of friends. I mean, I knew I had good friends, but when somebody offers to give you their kidney, that bonds of brotherhood, is a very different way than just being friends," says Tim.
One of those potential donors was his old Green Beret buddy, Kevin. The two had even made a pact that they would grow beards until Tim was doing better. Turns out he was a perfect match for Tim. And recently at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Kevin donated his kidney to his longtime friend.
For Kevin, it was an obvious decision.
"It was like an instant reaction to me, 'You can have mine,' he says. "I didn't even think about it. It was an easy decision. It was almost like a spiritual experience. I felt very blessed. But now that I've been through the process, if I had more to give, I would be giving them to everyone. I think everyone should be a donor. It's an act of great love and service to your fellow man. You're making so much difference to so many people."
Tim says it has changed his life.
"I mean, literally, (it has changed my life). Those who have been on dialysis will be able to relate. Those who haven't, it is life-changing — and not in a good way — being on dialysis. It wears you out. It tears you down. It hurts you. And to have somebody step up and help you — how do you thank somebody who saved your life? This is the ultimate meaning of what our brotherhood means. I would lay down my life for you at war, and I lay down my life for you here, too."
You can find out more about kidney donation and how to become a donor by visiting donate life.net
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